Barack Obama's credibility hits rock bottom after oil spill and Sestak scandal
The combination of Obama's passivity over the Gulf oil spill catastrophe and his cynical political manoeuvrings could spell disaster for him, argues Toby HarndenPhoto: GETTY
The first thing Barack Obama probably should have done was to order the livestreaming Oil Spill Cam to be turned off. As the President insisted to Americans that he was "singularly focused" on staunching the flow, there was that mesmerising image on their television screens of plumes of hydrocarbons gushing relentlessly into the Gulf of Mexico.
When any political leader feels they have to declare that they are "fully engaged" in an issue, it is clear that they are in trouble. Talking about it undermines the very point you are trying to make - not to mention that pesky Oil Spill Cam showing that, 38 days into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, not a whole lot had been achieved.
I've been there. I have been widely reviled on and off for five years now. It's actually theoretically impossible to win. Did you know that? If people don't hate you for what you are just now doing or not doing, they will hate you for something they just realized they should have been up in arms about months ago. And, indeed, it will be your fault for somehow having hoodwinked them into not hating you at the appointed time.
If they approve of you, it is only because you have tricked them. And for that you will receive their disapproval. Do you see?
You can put any thoughts of being liked right out of that head of yours.
Ideally, the comedian has no allies and he has no enemies. So don't think that I'm pandering. We are not friends. But I will remind you that the licenses to excoriation that the comedian would claim must be earned with a kind word now and again.
When you are doing something that has never been done before, there are no rules. You get to make them up yourself. You will ignore everyone. Most people have no idea what they're talking about on any matter. Don't forget that.
I guarantee you that not a single one of your detractors would want to be in your position, what with the economy and the oil spill and whatever all else.
This is where your internal compass and your faith come in. Chart your course, and ignore all the talkers. There's lots of talk in this world and precious little action.